How to Grow Your Social Media Followers in 2022... Without a Budget

Shannon Correia August 10, 2021

As one of the most important elements of digital marketing, social media channels are imperative for growth online. If you’d like to increase your followers in 2022, but don’t have a budget to work with, you’re going to need to focus your efforts on organic reach and visibility. This is notoriously tricky to get right but fear not - here’s a how-to guide to help you reach new heights. 

Social Media Followers in 2022

Marketers have moved away from ‘vanity’ metrics, or the numbers that don’t really surmount to any effect on your ROI. It refers to things like ‘likes,’ which don’t necessarily require any effort or action on behalf of your audience. The key to surpassing vanity metrics is to measure engagement. When it comes to your followers, that means having an active (read: high-quality) audience. Many platforms continually work on cracking down on bots, which are commonly bought to appear as followers to inflate metrics. 

Having a follower as opposed to regular visitors to your social media channels is a marker of commitment on the audience’s side. They could easily just find your profile when they’re looking for something particular, but having your profile come up in their regular feed is the goal as it strengthens relationships. 

Social Media Growth Without a Budget

The truth is, growth on social media is far easier when you have a budget to work with. This is because you can advertise to highly targeted audiences. The goal should be to allocate some of the marketing budgets towards social media, as even a small amount can go a long way. Without any money behind your efforts, you’re relying on organic reach, and this can be difficult on apps that have been around for some time. 

Don’t lose hope, though. There are 13 ways that you can achieve it. Let's get into them. 

How to Get More Followers on Social Media in 2022

  • Develop your aesthetic

    Your brand should be clearly defined and recognizable. People need to know what to expect and be able to identify the tone and style of your brand through the content you share. This makes them more likely to trust your brand - and with that, comes followers. Have a few go-to hashtags, as well as one that is specific to your brand to increase your digital footprint. 
  • Be consistent

    Posting needs to be consistent. The algorithms need this to understand and your content accurately and push it to relevant audiences. There should be a near-constant stream and ongoing interactions with your audiences.
  • Optimize your posts

    Optimization is key when preparing to share content. Each platform will have different specs on how to do this, but the goal is to follow the guidelines of the platform and attach as much information to the post as possible. That means you need to include captions, hashtags, and alt text, for example. 
  • Use all of the features on offer

    Social media platforms are multi-dimensional in that you can share various types of content. Be sure that your content covers different types of media and that if there is the option to share ephemeral content (Stories), then be sure to post about it. 
  • Think about your platform selection

    There are a number of predominant social media platforms, but be sure to hone in on the relevant ones to your brand. Having half-hearted attempts can harm your ability to effectively reach and engage audiences. These are the platforms you need to know in 2022.
  • Have a strategy in place

    When you analyze your audience to understand their needs, you can produce relevant content that appeals to them. By having a channel that is exciting to read and pleasing to the eye, you’re likely to attract people and entice them to follow you to updates. 
  • Collaborate with others

    The method of working with influencers requires a budget, so if you’re without one, then work on creating affiliate relationships. These are partnerships whereby the affiliate marketer will get a percentage of the sale - you can mark up the prices accordingly in advance if need be. This way, you’re reaching new audiences and don’t require any upfront payments.
  • Use tracking to your advantage

    Social media platforms have become a lot more business-friendly in recent years and have included analytical insights. Use these to your advantage to find out the best times to post and to see which types of content are most successful. This goes hand-in-hand with testing content, which should be an ongoing task with adjustments made where necessary. 
  • Make it a responsibility

    Whether it's one person or a team behind your social media, be sure to take care of all aspects, from community management to creative content production. You may not have a budget to spend on growing your followers, but you’ll need to use the social media budget and resources available to create quality content. 
  • Run a competition

    One of the most effective ways to grow your audience and stimulate engagement organically is by hosting a competition. You will have to supply the prize so it isn’t exactly free, but if you’re able to do this, you can count on this being the most effective way to grow organically. 
  • Cross-promote your brand

    Your growth on social media may not be linear across all of your channels. As such, you’ll want to include links to your other platforms in your bio. It should also be easy for your audience to share your content to other platforms, and you can encourage this using calls to action. Finally, be sure to promote your social media channels on your website and via your email marketing. 
  • Contact with the community

    Whether it's through sharing user-generated content or being an active member of the community, your brand needs to show its appreciation and sense of belonging. This will increase your reach and visibility, all while showcasing the business’s values.
  • Engage in real-time marketing

    This is reactive marketing which helps you ride the wave of social media trends. When you get it right, it can help you grow your engagement and follower count. To do this, you'll need to conduct social media listening.

grow social media following

Understand that growth without a budget on social media takes time to achieve. By making this a priority and working at it each day, you’ll be on your way to increasing the number of followers you have in no time. This growth is often a better indication of your brand’s success on social media, as the followers, you do gain will typically be more loyal than those lured to your page through advertising. 

Got a question? Ask us at Nexa. We’re a digital marketing agency providing a full range of social media marketing.